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The 2004 $75,000 Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship Featured at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma

Press Release

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce that the $75,000 Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship will take place at one of the most prestigious reining events in the country, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby in Oklahoma City, OK, on Sunday, May 23, 2004.

The Reining Championship is still part of the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, but is relocated this year along with the Festival’s Dressage and Show Jumping Selection Trials that are relocated to the west coast to accommodate the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

“The Derby was an ideal choice because it has a built-in audience as well as a top management team in the NRHA,” said Bonnie Jenkins, USEF High Performance Executive Director. “We are grateful to the NRHA and the Derby Board of Directors for hosting the Championship Final this year.” Additionally, the USEF Young Rider Reining Medal Final will be showcased on Sunday at the Derby giving the young competitors the opportunity to show with the nation’s best, in keeping with the tradition of the Bayer/USET Festival.

The Open Reining Championship debuted in 1999 at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions and has since become one of the most important reining events in the country. In 2002, the Championship was used as the selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, where the U.S. won both the Team and Individual Gold Medals.

The criteria for the 2004 Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship Final has changed in that it is now opened to the entire USEF Long List instead of only the top 50. Additionally, it is a qualifier for the 2004 FEI World Reining Masters Series Championship, which also takes place in Oklahoma City, OK, in December. Riders on the long list still need to compete in one of the Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifying Classes that are held throughout the year at important Reining competitions for qualification to the championship.

For more information about the USEF Open Reining Championship and the qualifying classes, please call Jamie Saults, USEF Director of Reining at (908) 234-0848, ext. 40.

U.S. Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country’s largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.

The vision of U.S. Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.

The USET Foundation supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing International High Performance horses and athletes in partnership with the US Equestrian Federation.